The other example from the recent Qi Gong workshop came in a break between the exercises. The teacher and I talked about awareness. Without it, nothing can happen. Karaj had shown me that when you see things clearly, they begin to shift. Change occurs just by paying attention. So if passive awareness is enough to generate movement, what happens when it becomes active?
I have written before that once things start to move, all you have to do is take the wheel and steer your life in whatever direction you wish. This conversation brought confirmation of that, but seemed also to add another dimension. As we talked, I had a definite sense of awareness as an environment in which we are able to move around and make things happen. A world within a world, where exploration, discovery and influence have more substance.
It all begins with you noticing something. Whether it’s a stiffness in your shoulder, a thought, or a feeling, when it draws your attention, remain there. Become more aware of it and you’ll notice a space open up around it, as if all else sinks away, leaving you more room. Room for possibility: an insight, perhaps; a release; or maybe just deeper reflection. Or the chance to plant seeds which can grow into different ways of being. The more aware you become, the deeper you move into the fabric of existence.
And you don’t have to work too hard. Sure, there is a need for discipline, effort and patience, but there is no need to exert yourself as much as you might think. There are forces available which will take the strain. Awareness is one. Intention is another. (Interestingly, intention would find its place on the list of eight points referred to in the previous post, under point 7: Intent, not force.)
Whatever you decide to do – even if it’s nothing at all – do it with the clarity of intention. Maybe the intention is to be still, or listen more closely, or make a slight alteration somewhere. (Even the smallest change can grow considerably over time.) Bring intention into your awareness, and you turn your searchlight into a laser beam.
But we must learn to relax at every stage. Relaxing is a vitally important discipline because when light shines on something we have not seen before, there is a tendency to get excited or disheartened. There is no need for either. See what is there and relax with it. Be patient. It is what it is; neither right nor wrong. Answers, insights and direction will come. Or they won’t. We must learn to relax with that, too.
To summarise: With awareness we create clarity about what is there, whilst at the same time generating space around it. Then, in that awareness we are able to transform what we find; build better structures, develop better habits, and create more harmony. See what’s there; notice what you observe about what you see; relax; and with intent, act upon what you discover.